Beer and Wine Jelly

Sometimes, patient’s don’t understand what isn’t allowed in the hospital.

Back in med school, I was on the medicine inpatient wards. In medicine, you always have some patients who have been in the hospital for a while. And those patients sometimes are allowed to have a bit more freedoms just because they’re essentially living in the hospital.

My particular patient had been in the hospital for quite a few weeks. He was an overall fairly healthy guy, except for what was keeping him in the hospital. He also loved his sports. And something else with those sports.

I was on call one day, and had to walk into his room later on to see how he was doing now that we had changed around some of his medications.

And there, neatly lined up in the window, was a row of 4 bottles. With beer labels.

Me: Excuse me, sir, but are those yours?

Patient: Yup, the wife took pity on me and brought us something to drink during the baseball game.

Me: Sir, you realize you can’t drink in the hospital, right?

Patient: Good thing I had the wife hide the other two!

And no, alcohol is not one of the freedoms he was allowed.

Hospital Appropriate Spiced Wine Jelly

wine jelly

since alcohol is allowed in hospitals in jelly form


  • 1 bottle red wine
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 3 1/4 c whit e sugar
  • 1 packet liquid pectin
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice


  1. Bring a water bath canner with lids and jars (this makes about 3.5 C jelly, so plan accordingly) to a boil.
  2. In a small saucepan, measure out 1 1/4 c wine and pour in. Add cinnamon stick, cloves, and nutmeg. Bring to a boil and cook for approximately 15-25 minutes, or until reduced to 1/3 c liquid. Remove from heat.
  3. In a separate, larger pot, pour in the rest of the wine and add in the sugar. Over medium-high heat, bring to a boil, stirring often.
  4. When larger pot has come to a boil, add pectin and lemon juice. Bring back to a hard boil (once you cannot stir down) and cook for 1 minute.
  5. Strain in reduced wine in order to remove the spices.
  6. Ladle jelly into jars leaving 1/4 in at the top for room. Wipe rims clean, then place on lids with rings. Process for 5 minutes (adjust for altitude- please comment for times).
  7. Remove jars from water bath and let set (don’t touch them!) for 12-24 hours. Store for up to one year (one month in the fridge).

20 thoughts on “Beer and Wine Jelly

  1. I guess he didn’t care, since he had polished off all the beer. I kind of like beer too,so I can kind of understand where he was coming from. I promise I will never do that if I am in the hospital. 🙂 That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. 🙂 Love your stories.

    1. Well he had two of them hiding still…

      1. Did you find them or ignore his comment about the hidden beers.

  2. Had he been smart, he would have hidden all the beer. Or exchanged that beer for Appletini’s. 😉

    1. Or at least not lined the glasses up in the window…

      1. I agree. Maybe he just wanted attention/conversation with a pretty doctor. have a wonderful Saint Valentine Day. 😯

  3. But surely beer is food and sustenance, merely in liquid form…! It’s good for you…

  4. What I understand in Italy you can drink wine while on hospital – maybe it’s not good for you, but that’s the Italians for you.

    1. I’m not surprised. My boyfriend’s Italian and he makes it seem as though anything is allowed in Italy as long as you know someone.

      1. That’s true …. have friends there and they bring food and wine with them to the hospital .. at least if you die you die merry. *smile

  5. Mmm this sounds yummy.

    I love your stories. The one a few weeks ago about the other guy who didn’t know what was appropriate for a hospital was also pretty good 🙂

  6. The hospital here in CA that I used to work allowed you to order a small glass of wine with dinner if your dr okayed it.

  7. That jelly sounds devine!

  8. Giving people tips on how to get around policy!!! Love it. Also got to love someone with enough moxie to tell you he had hidden beer =)

    1. I still am not sure where he managed to hide it in the hospital room he was in, unless it was tucked in his pillow!

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